Items filtered by date: Thursday, 07 June 2018

Ethiopia has achieved a significant improvement in the health sector. Citizens’ health status in the meantime has also improved. The country successfully reduced infant and maternal mortality rate before the Millennium Development Goals deadline.
Ethiopia is a leader in Africa in reducing maternal and under-5 mortality; and one of the few countries in Africa that have achieved the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for child and maternal health.
Recently, health professionals from Burkina Faso came here to learn from the best practices and experience of Ethiopian health policy, and from the successes of the country's health extension program.
This indicates that Ethiopian primary, secondary and tertiary health system successed, and the country's  track of preventing, controlling and managing of various health problems is becoming an example and benchmark for other African countries to emulate.
But, most notably, innovative strategies to improve household behaviors and coverage of basic health care services contributed to Ethiopia's achievements, and the Health Extension Program (HEP) remains the core of such innovations and provides a model for countries struggling to improve health outcomes in a resource-constrained setting.
The health extension program is serving as the primary vehicle for implementing essential community-based health care packages, and as an effective referral system from the grass-roots level to widen access to ownership of health extension and scale-up the success of the best practices.
The country’s resilient health system and effective leadership hugely improved the primary health care system highly by expanding the health extension workers (HEWs) services at community level. Accelerated Expansion of Primary Health Care Coverage and Health Extension Program were designed to expand of essential health services, particularly in rural areas.  
Since the beginning of the health extension program, trained and graduated model households started to vaccinate children, use toilets, and sleep under mosquito nets. Currently, there are critical masses of nearly three million model households that have graduated over the years by fulfilling the model family criteria.
Another of the country's innovative health care initiative, the Health Development Army (HDA) has been serving as a massive program engaging women’s groups to disseminate health information and facilitate uptake of critical health services. This solidarity movement, which consists the organization of groups of 30 households, consists of three million HDAVs who are from model families from each village, and aims to improve the engagement and leadership of community members in improving their own health.
HDA enables them to promote healthy behaviors as well as to strengthen and sustain community engagement and ownership. However, their focus is not only on health, but on other aspects of women’s development as part of a wide national social and political agenda.
The health information system at the health post is based on a number assigned to each family in a survey. Two HEWs are based at a village health post serve 5,000 people, and there is one HDAV who serves every five to ten families. Every family is registered at health post.
Every health center is responsible for supporting and monitoring the activities of the HEWs and HDAVs working there. This network of HDAVs, HEWs, five health posts, and a health center forms a primary health care unit is important to prevent diseases and share best practices and experiences.
These efforts have led to a stronger health system to be delivered at hospitals and primary health centers, while disease control programs and community-based primary health care services are readily accessible to all.
Communities, service providers and professional associations have played a great contribution in improving Ethiopia's health system priorities and implem entations. More resilient health system has been creating with community’s engagement and professional standards.
Since 2003, Ethiopia has been making progress by putting the national health system on the right track, and in the process has become a more resilient health system. It has made major efforts to implement integrated community management of childhood illness. The country has also invested heavily in strengthening health system in human resource development, the health information system, supply chain management, infrastructure, health care financing, and governance of the health system.
The establishment of a strong community-based workforce of HEWs and HDAVs has had many advantages in connecting health system to every household in the country.

BY TSEGAYE TILAHUN

Published in Society

As the original thinkers of developmental state argue, late development is not a spontaneous process; and it is very different from early developmental processes.
“In developmental states, the state becomes an actor of development. They frequently enjoy state autonomy, a strong bureaucracy, as well as a determined developmental cadre which drives the process forward.”
Explaining the theory and concept of development, developmental state, democracy, social development and the success and challenges of building a democratic developmental state in a multinational setting, former Communications Minister Getachew Reda said that there has to be comparison in dealing with these concepts.
At an academic lecture organized in Mekelle this week, Getachew presented the rationale of democratic developmental state  from the very central point in dealing with neoliberal and developmental thoughts is the very role of the state.
Therefore, the role of the state in neo-liberal thinking is confined to protecting private properties and enforcing contracts set by the market. There is night watchman state that doesn’t intervene in the market.
The role of protecting self-interest is the role of all actors; the state and the private sector, Getachew noted.
From the competition point of view, market is pareto efficient; a condition where it is possible to make one person wealthiest without making the other person poorest. There is information asymmetry in the competitive nature of the market in these thoughts, he added.
And this conditions creates market under supply such as the provision of public goods and security (the ultimate monopoly of the prevention of violence should be in the hands of the state), Getachew argued.
In the neo-liberal model of development, Getachew said that there is likely market entry failure and market under supply in some of the basic products such as technological innovation, before adding that entry risks not provided by private actors involving in the competitive market.
As to him, technology is very much important for development. However, the market or the private sector don’t want to take entry risks.
Another point of discussion Getachew raised is that neoliberalism has no theoretical assumption. It only has empirical thoughts which prescribe the bigger the government, the more the likelihood of the government being involved in patronage distribution of rent and the more involved in economic activities, the more rampant in rent seeking belongs.
Hence, to avoid the dangerous market competition scenarios, the role of the state should be minimal, is the concept of neoliberalism, according to Getachew.
Comparatively, he pointed out that developmental state (DS) school of thought has basic rationales; the promotion of accelerated development through addressing the market failure.
The basic nature of DS model is primarily is its theoretical nature built on accelerated development and it is the basic for existence of the state (government) unless will be questionable.
Structurally, DS seeks to assume relative autonomous state from external intervention and most importantly from the private sector, he added.
“Western states will be plutocratic states; in effect there are few that claim they know all for the mass to decide market laws, controls the media, the state apparatus and keep manufacturing the consent of the public.”
Getachew also added that the nexus between the ideological and the structural characteristics of developmental model distinguishes the state in creating hegemony firmly believed in intervening in the market in major failures to accelerate the development.
Historically, developmental states were surrounded by enemies and they consider that development is the way to escape from that gird and none of them were democratic.
South Korea introduced with democracy during the 1990s and Taiwan’s is very recent phenomenon.
The point here is how developmental state can be democratic?
According to Getachew, democracy and development should be guided by national contexts. In multiethnic states like Ethiopia, when there is no system that can accommodate diversity, there is likely the condition of disintegration.
In the Ethiopian context, there are two concepts enshrined in the constitution; the twin basics which determine Ethiopia’s national survival are poverty and backwardness on one hand, diversity and development on the other.
Thus, to address the problems related to poverty and backwardness, accelerated development and democratic system can fully accommodate diversity is a must, according to Getachew.
“The assumption in the Ethiopian context is not a matter of choice but directly related to these twin pillars. Then, it is  must that the Ethiopia state shall be democratic in nature.”
However, for Abraha Akelom who specialized in the science of political economy at Mekelle University, the concept of democratic developmental state lacks clarity, intra-party democracy in the ruling party, and positive synergy in the ethno federal setting in the leadership up to the lower echelon of the government structure.
The concept has four major elements he said; committed leadership, organizational capacity, effective and autonomous bureaucracy and national development planning institution.
Thus, from the above point of view, democratic centrism and democratic nationalism- the terms widely used in the ruling party’s doctrine should be clarified.
“Both development and democracy are compatible according to the proponents of democratic developmental state (DDS), and I can say that (DDS) is the perfect model for multiethnic Ethiopia but the bureaucracy and the leadership are not committed enough, the later being an extension of the former.”
The establishment of the National Planning Commission could be good manifestation, but it has to set effective subsidiary organizations at the constituent states level, he added.

BY HAFTU GEBREZGABIHER

Published in Development


EPRDF and the government of Ethiopia needs to resolve the most pressing and real problems of the greatest concern to the people and better satisfy the people’s demands. Enhancing and improving the party’s leadership, assist the party to play its role as the leadership core in exercising overall leading and coordinating all efforts and improve its art of leadership and governance is critical to ensure the victory of the reform and creating stable and orderly society. All party’s members should focus on the major policies and strategies of the country both in thinking_and action, raising their awareness of opportunities and responsibilities that enables them keep the right directions.
Establishing institution and mechanisms is also fundamental to pool talented people and give them full play to show and give concern for people’s livelihood particularly to those indentified children of freedom-fighters sacrificed and disabled. There will never ever be an end to practice, emancipation of the mind, to reform and opening up-eventually making Ethiopia a modern that is rich, strong, democratic and united to realize the_dream of the_lost comrades, this is to be called national great revival.
We most deepen political system reform that features the organic unity of upholding the leadership of the party, the people being the masters of the country, governing the country according to the rule of the law.
Adhering to the major strategic judgment that development and democracy are still the key to solving all types of problems in Ethiopia, working hard to address the root problems of the challenges, believing the federal system is the only medicine to maintain Ethiopia as a nation. Solve market imperfection, too much government interference and poor over sight over projects being underway.
Adhere to party’s basic line, reject the old and rigid closed door policy, improving the working mechanisms of people’s congress, widen channels for the public to participate in legislative in an orderly manner through__ discussions, hearing, assessment and publicizing draft law actively, address social concerns through inquiring and investigating of specific problems and putting record for examinations.
Establishing the building of new types of think-tanks with party’s characteristics aiming at reforming major policies, ideologies and structures of the party would be the pillars of the reform.
Heart to heart talks with the people to ensure that peoples are satisfied with equality, justice in every court-verdict, all acts in violation of the constitution and party’s key directions must be investigated and bring to courts.
Forming scientific and effective mechanisms to check and coordinate power, reforming party’s discipline –inspection system will be instrumental to maintain EPRDF culture.
Selecting capable, honest, responsible officials competitively merely by their grades or votes- the members should be committed towards people’s causes, diligent and programmatic in serving the people and not afraid of taking on responsibilities.
We shall get rid of the “official rank standard”, officials be adaptive to promotion, demotion, appointment, resignation or retirement.
_Serious warning to EPRDF and the government of Ethiopia
Ethiopia faces a series of vicious circle political challenges and is in a dilemma on the political economic and social fronts and its path of continuity as a country. _Thus, the very party you lead must, with greater political courage and wisdom, and lose no time to deepen reform in key sectors and discard all notions and systems that hinder efforts to pursue development in scientific ways. If the new leadership contributes its own share in implementing the reforms scientifically, then it is great help to rescue national security which is heading to genocide types of act.
EPRDF should set up a well-developed scientific standardized and effective framework of systems and ensure that all institutions in all sectors are fully functioning.
However, failure to realize the stated reforms in all fronts will lead us find ourselves in a blind alley and vicious circle which will cause the end of Ethiopia.
Failed Ethiopia will be destructive to us all. No one is winner but all of us losers.
I believe your leadership qualities can save the party and Ethiopia from these forecasted failures through implementing the above recommended points.  
If you take these points heartily, you will be able to create democratic and united Ethiopia. Hence, history will remember you as rescuer Ethiopian leader.
Best regards
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Part II

BY ZERAY HAILEMARIAM

Published in Editorial-View-Point
Thursday, 07 June 2018 16:59

The need to strengthening support

In a bid to help the poor segment of the society in towns escape poverty, the 'Safety-net' program has been implemented in 11 towns with a total cost of 450 million dollar (of which 300 million dollar is gained from World Bank, and 150 million dollar is allocated by the government). The program has been enforced for two solid years. Accordingly, the livelihood of the people supported by the program has showed changes.
The program is benefiting people under-poverty line by providing direct and indirect advantages. While those who are physically capable are engaged in some sort of activities, others (disabilities, elders, etc) have been gaining direct financial assistance from the project. Those who are engaged in the program are encouraged to save money and become economically independent citizens.
The second phase of the program was launched last Saturday in Addis Ababa with the aim of making 200,000 people beneficiary out of it. Of the total population, some 32,000 would get direct support while the remaining 168,000 people would benefit by participating in environment protection activities. This figure takes up the number of beneficiaries to 323,000.
As the saying 'kill two birds with a stone' goes, people who are participating in the program in one hand contribute their share for their towns' development, while on the other hand they benefit from the program in terms of escaping from poverty. Some clean areas that are observed in the capital, for instance, are the end result of the program. So, the effort should be encouraged.
   Prior to entering the program, some of them used to beg for money, while others were exposed to street life due to various disabilities they have. The program has brought viable changes to their livelihoods. And nowadays, they have gone beyond fulfilling their day-to-day need, and started to save money.   
City Mayor, Diriba Kumma said that the program is effective in providing direct support to patients and elders, whilst making others beneficiaries by involving them in environmental development activities. By and large, given that the program has been changing the lives of hopeless and destitute people for the better and be visionary, it should not only be praised but also replicated to other segment of the society.
Since 2009, Addis Ababa City Administration Job Creation and Food Security Agency has implemented the program in 35 selected woredas. In the second phase, the program is expected to be implemented in 55 woredas with the view of making 200,000 people beneficiaries. In the program launch, it was reported that the government is committed to support the program than any time before.
Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen said that the program is involving voiceless people, and change their livelihood for the better. He also assured that the program would further strengthen.
Indeed, supporting the poor society is the responsibility of government; and the commitment of the government to see that through should be admired. This shows the commitment and desire of the incumbent to distribute wealth equally to its citizens from the growing economy.
Especially, as it was clearly stipulated, some segment of the society in the capital live in serious poverty. So, every leader found in every hierarchical position should discharge his/her responsibility, and address the problems related to recruiting people in need of direct and indirect support. If these things are done the program’s aim of lifting many people out of poverty line would still bear fruits.
The public at large should also actively observe the recruiting process and undertake strict follow-up program, and contribute their share to make sure the program aim/target reaches the pertinent segment of the society.
To make the benefits sustainable, the people who are getting benefit out of the program should enhance their culture of saving, and make themselves ready to engage in income generating activities.
In this regard, for its effort, the Addis Ababa City Administration needs to be praised. In parallel to this, though many people are benefitting from it, the poverty observed in the town is deep-rooted, and more works needs to be done. Best practices should be replicated. And for this to happen, international and local donors should strengthen their support to further reduce poor segment of the society. Thus, the Addis Ababa City needs to give prior attention to it.

Published in Editorial-View-Point

ADDIS ABABA--  Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will pay an official visit to Uganda from June 9-10, 2018.
Office of the Spokesperson of the Foreign Affairs Ministry  disclosed that the Prime Minister will pay a working visit to Uganda upon the official invitation from Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
The leaders of the two countries are expected to discuss on bilateral and regional issues of mutual concern.
The visit of the Premier Abiy will help to further strengthen the long standing relations between the peoples and governments of both countries, the spokesperson noted.
Ethiopia and Uganda are active participants of the efforts being made under the auspices of IGAD to seek a lasting solution to the crisis in South Sudan that has continued unabated.
Both countries have contributed their armed forces under the umbrella of AMISOM for a peace keeping mission in Somalia.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abiy will preside over Uganda’s National Day of Patriots.
Prime Minister Abiy has earlier paid similar visits to Djibouti, Sudan, Kenya, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates as part of his efforts to further boost Ethiopia’s relations with the countries.

Published in National-News


The governing Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) Executive Committee’s decision to unconditionally implement the Algiers Agreement is decisive move in normalizing the tension between Ethiopian and Eritrea as well as maintaining regional peace.
The decision will restore the people-to-people relations of the two Horn African neighbors, Horn affairs Researcher Kahsay Gebreyesus tells The Ethiopian Herald.
What forced the Ethiopian government to accept the agreement is the fact that the current ‘no war no peace’ has not in the interest of both countries, Kahsay adds.
According to him, if permanent peace is restored, it helps reduce military expense and both countries focus on development. The call to end the border dispute and implement the full verdict of the Algiers Accord by Ethiopian government at this time is very critical, he adds.    
Whatever the reason might be the decision to accept the Accord is praiseworthy one as it solves peoples’ problems.
But the readiness of the Ethiopian government alone is not sufficient for the successful implementation of the peace Accord. In addition, the basic causes of war are still unsolved. There are basic practical challenges to implement the agreement.   
As to Kahsay, the basic cause of Ethio-Eritrean war was not boarder issue it was rather historical factors as well as economic and regional military interests, Kahsay notes.  
The Ethiopian government proposed solutions by considering the interests of the peoples. But Eritrean government was not willing to accept because of its internal political situation.
“Hence, the Eritrean government wants to use the conflict as a survival strategy. Giving away Badime (the disputed area) would not change the behavior of the Asmara region.  
It is also imperative to foster economic integration between Addis Ababa and Asmara if the two countries reach in agreement, he points out.
Professor Medane Tadesse, political analyst says the government of Ethiopia should change the current situation to promote peace and avoid causes of future security treats. And for this, it is important to respect the Algiers Agreement.
He notes that countries’ energy, infrastructure and economic integration are inevitable as they share many things in common including cultural identity. There is no other alternative.
Bekele Lemmi, Lecturer at Addis Ababa University says above everything else the decision aims restoring the people to people ties of the two countries. Ethiopia’s move seems to promote the philosophy of togetherness, shared development and mutual growth, he adds.  
Based on the give and take principle, Ethiopia can also have access to the Port of Assab while benefiting Eritrea economically.
“If there is an enemy in your neighbor, the country cannot develop, maintain sustainable peace and security. Hence, accepting the Agreement would help to create connections.”
Probably Eritrea would accept Ethiopia’s call for the implementation of the Algiers agreement. However, it could be difficult to the regime would accept the call easily, he points out.
By its nature Eritrean government is not ready to accept Ethiopia’s the call as it does not want to see a strong state in the region, Bekele notes.   
“Ethiopia has made the first move. If Eritrea is ready, it would be possible to solve the issue gradually. There is a need to hold mutual discussion before going through the implementation of the agreement.
According to him, there are some things that Ethiopia might lose in implementing the Accord. It needs to hold discussions with its peoples, he notes.
An Eritrean diplomat to the African Union, who opted for anonymity, tells The Ethiopian Herald that it is too early to comment on the issue without going to details. However, he hints out that peace is in the interest of all.  
The Ethiopian Herald’s Haftu Gebrezgabiher has also contributed to this piece.  
 


BY TSEGAYE TILAHUN

 

Published in National-News

KENYA, Nairobi - The World Bank has approved a credit of 300 million USD for the East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP).
EASTRIP has a goal of increasing the access to and improving the quality of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programs in selected Regional TEVT Centers of Excellence (CoE) in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania with a bid to foster industrialization and support regional integration, announced here on Monday during a four day Appraisal Workshop that will be finalized tomorrow.
A total of about 16 provide TVET CoE have been selected from the three countries, out of which seven are from Ethiopia.
The project supports the development of highly specialized TVET programs at diploma and degree levels for training of technicians and TVET faculty, as well as industry recognized short-term training, targeting regional priority sectors.
  “TVET skill is a key priority for the World Bank. And it is also priority for the countries and the region in Africa. Thus, in a way, our vision aligns between what we think and what the countries think is the priority,” Xiaoyan Liang, Lead Education Specialist and Team Leader for EASTRIP told The Ethiopian Herald.
It is important for Africa to further develop within that strategy to industrialize the countries along priority sectors, she further said.  The project is designed to address some of the gaps in skills development for the participating countries.
“The process of selection is rather dynamic,” she said speaking of how the three countries are selected. “On the one hand country ownership is key. And on the other, the World Bank resource is not purely a grant. It is a credit which countries have to pay back. So the selection process includes these issues.  
Regional integration is one of the three key objectives of the project and is embedded in every aspect of the project design.
“We are now requesting each of the 16 centers to develop a strategic investment plan where regional integration needs to be reflected,” stressed Xiaoyan.Teshome Lemma Wodajo, State Minister at Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education for his part underscored that the country’s strategy is that TVETS focus on giving trainings on fields of studies with increasing demand.  
“The project would help us evaluate whether the selected centers in the project have the capacity to execute this strategy and enable us to build capacity to sustain the trend,” he emphasized.
Furthermore, instead of making a alienated efforts in different institutions, it is better first to build capacity in the selected CoE and then build the national capacity latter,” Teshome added.  
The expansion of this scheme will give Ethiopia the chance to become African CoE in TVET. The government of Germany and the African Union have also been planning to expand Ethiopia’s experiences to other countries. In addition, there will also be exchange of trainees between the countries to share best experiences.
The project budget allocation for Ethiopia has increased from 100 million to 150 million USD because it is a country with vast man power resources and has one of the strongest TVET education system, the state minister emphasized.  
In the previous project, Ethiopia’s share was 100 million out of the total approved budget of 250 million USD.  
The seven CoE were chosen based on identified development corridors and completion based on the proposal that the TVETs submitted.  
The training fields of study were also selected based on the local demand. The priority fields of studies are believed to bring about economic transformation and foster regional integration and include light manufacturing, agro-processing, energy, ICT, railway development and the likes.
Prof Alexandre Lyambabaie, Executive Secretary of Inter-University Council of East Africa (IUCEA), facilitators of the Workshop on his part  added that besides the members of the East African Community (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and  South Sudan), the IUCEA is coordinating the establishment of centers of excellence beyond the region including in Ethiopia, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique.
“Even though they are not members of EAC, we are partners in what we call African Centers of Excellence Project Second Phase. And all these countries are collaborating with the World Bank to establish center of excellence for graduate studies.”
The project was successfully presented to the Regional Operations Committee at the World Bank and has received authorization to proceed to appraisal. It is expected to be implemented next October. 

BY Abiy Hailu

Published in National-News

 
Following the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) Executive Committee’s decision to allow domestic investors secure shares in mega projects and transfer public enterprises to the private sector, economists are urging the government to implement the new reform carefully as it would ensure healthy economic prospect.
For some, the decision is directly related with the need to speed up Ethiopia's structural transformation.
Over the past ten years or so, the Ethiopian economy has registered double digit economic growth. But, the structural change over the years could not correspond to the growing economy. It required the introduction of new ideas and thinking to overcome structural problems, Eyob Tekalegne, economist and Director at Schuze Global Investment tells The Ethiopian Herald.  
To support his claim with evidence, Eyob raises the case of the telecom sector which could not cope with the rapidly changing state-of-the-art technology due to foreign currency shortage.
True, the rationale for the Ethiopian state to maintain ownership of the telecom sector is with the belief that the government sits in a better position to make infrastructural expansion to rural areas with a bid to ensure fair distribution of wealth among citizens. Yet what is needed at this point in time is to improve quality and maximize benefit, he adds.  
But now some people are confused whether the ruling party has changed its long held ideology or not as it aspires to bring viable changes and reforms in the economy without changing its revolutionary democratic ideology, Eyob further emphasizes.
At this in point time, some of the issues need to be taken seriously, Eyob notes mentioning Ethiopian Airlines, one of the successful state owned companies with huge success and that has always been the pride of Ethiopia  as case in point.
The government should not implement the reforms at all institutions at once. The reforms should be taken by protecting the macro economic progress as well as the progress of the institutions, he stresses.
In general, “it is a promising strategy and big changes would come afterwards. However, every single action should be taken carefully."
The decision would have great impact on the overall economy. Obviously, due to the shortage of hard currency, many factories have been operating with 20 to 25 percent of their capacity. Gross Domestic Product has been in decline.
When the income from the sale of share is released in to the economy, it would help overcome the challenges and once the private investors are carefully selected, their presence in the economy would raise the coefficient.
As to him, the decision would not be taken as a means to get foreign currency; rather it aimed at boosting economic growth. And then the government would be able to focus on key areas of development.  
Most of the mega projects have been inefficient and bankrupted. Hence, the decision is imperative to sustain the economic progress and help the private sector flourish than ever before. “The government has lost a lot of capital in sugar projects and the involvement of the private sector is expected to ease this situation.  Take sugar protects in to the case, the government has lost much of its capital,” Eyop opines.  
As the private sector will highly involve in the economy, special attention must be given to improving logistics. The decision would make the economy participatory and sustainable.
Frankly speaking, Eyob says, instead of sticking to some ideology, the government has to be pragmatic and pursue reforms that fit the situation of the time, he states.  
In fact, social democracy is a path to adopting neoliberal political economy, as to him.
Gebrehiwot Tesfaye (PhD), another economist for his part says in economic development, the most important player is the private sector and with the presence of vibrant private sector, there would always be progress.
Dr. Gebrehiwot says the gradual and researched transfer of public institutions to private investors would have positive impact on the economy.
“The privately owned enterprises will be more effective and efficient than the public owned ones,” he says adding “we have witnessed that the public sector faced shortage of foreign currency to finalize the mega projects which could be attributed to inefficiency. And this makes the decision to reform a timely one.”  
When the government has designed the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-I and II), it has assumed that the mega projects would be implemented with the support of foreign loans. However, such loans were not made available and this resulted in foreign currency shortage. Thus, the reform seems to be the only option to accomplish the mega projects.  
"What makes me happy is that fact that the government prioritizes domestic investors," he adds.  
The idea is not new; it was there within the party, especially as the government failed to finance the mega projects such as sugar factories, railway, and telecom infrastructure and so on.  
“The reform is not ideological change; it is rather a means to sustain the economy.  This strategy would not take us to pure neo-liberalism,” Gebrehiwot adds.
But the reform does not mean that international investors would suddenly come and invest in Ethiopia. The government needs to make extra works to make sure that there is stable security situation.
Creating confidence of the private sector and ensuring rule of law is the other thing that needs focus of the incumbent. Over the past three years, some of the factories of private investors have been destroyed [because of the unrest in some parts of the country]. In any means, the government should take the responsibility and pay compensation to this investors. But this and others measures would take time, Dr. Gebrehiwot adds.

BY GIRMACHEW GASHAW

Published in National-News

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